Immigration & Family Law
The ABCs of Immigration
I. Temporary Visas
K-1 Fiancé(e) Visas
A Fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen is eligible for a non-immigrant visa conditioned on the conclusion of the marriage within 90 days.
K-3 Spouse Abroad
This visa sometimes reduces the amount of time a U.S. Citizen must wait to bring his spouse who lives in a foreign country to the U.S. It is very similar to the K-1 Fiancé(e)
H-1B Specialty Occupation (Professionals) Visas
Professional workers with at least a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent work experience) may be eligible for a non-immigrant visa if their employers can demonstrate that they are to be paid at least the prevailing wage for the position.
J-1 and Q-1 Exchange Visitor Visas
Persons coming to the U.S. in an approved exchange program may be eligible for the J-1 Exchange Visitor's visa. J-1 programs often cover students, short-term scholars, business trainees, teachers, professors and research scholars, specialists, international visitors, government visitors, camp counselors and au pairs. In some cases, participation in a J-1 program will be coupled with the requirement that the beneficiary spend at least two years outside of the U.S. before being permitted to switch to a different non-immigrant visa or to permanent residency. Mr. Siskind regularly handles the application process for seeking a waiver to the home residency requirement that applies to many J-1 visa holders.
L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visas
L-1 visas are available to executives, managers and specialized knowledge employees transferring to their employer's U.S. affiliate. Executives and managers holding L-1 visas may be eligible for permanent residency without the need for a labor certification.
O-1 Extraordinary Ability Worker Visas
The O-1 category is set aside for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability. This includes entertainers, athletes, scientists, and businesspersons.
P-1 Artists and Athletes Visas
This category covers athletes, artists and entertainers.
R-1 Religious Worker Visas
Religious workers may be eligible for an R-1 visa.
TN Status Under the North American Free Trade Agreement
A special category has been set up for nationals of Canada and Mexico under the provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
3. Business investment
E-1/E-2 Treaty Trader and Investor Visas
Investors and traders and their employees may receive visas to carry on their businesses in the U.S. if their home country has a commercial treaty with the US conferring visa eligibility.
F-1 and M-1 Student Visas
Persons seeking to pursue a full course of study at a school in the United States may be eligible for a visa for the course of their study plus, in some cases, a period for practical training in their field of study.
5. Recreation & Tourism
B-1/B-2 Visitor's Visas
Available to visits coming to the U.S. for business or pleasure. B-1 business visitor visas are for a short duration and must not involve local employment. Nationals of certain countries may be eligible to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa.
II. Permanent Visas
Immediate Relatives and other Family Members
U.S. citizens may petition for spouses, parents, children and siblings. Permanent residents may petition for spouses and children.
EB-1 Foreign Nationals of Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professors and Researchers and Multinational Executives and Managers
Individuals in this category can petition for permanent residency without having to go through the time consuming labor certification process.
EB-2 Workers with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability in the Sciences, Arts or Business
Visa holders in this category normally must have a job offer and the potential employer must complete the labor certification process. The labor certification involves a testing of the job market to demonstrate that the potential visa holder is not taking a job away from a U.S. worker. In cases where an individual can show that his entry is in the national interest, the job offer and labor certification requirements can be waived.
EB-3 Skilled Workers and Professionals
Visa holders in this category normally must have a job offer and the potential employer must complete the labor certification process.
EB-4 Special Immigrant Visas for Religious Workers
Ministers of religion are eligible for permanent residency.
EB-5 Investor/Employment Creation Visas
Under the 1990 Immigration Act, Congress has set aside up to 10,000 visas per year for alien investors in new commercial enterprises who create employment for ten individuals. There are two groups of investors under the program - those who invest at least 500,000 in "targeted employment areas" (rural areas or areas experiencing high unemployment of at least 150% of the national average rate) and those who invest 1,000,000 anywhere else. No fewer than 3,000 of the annual allotment of visas must go to targeted employment areas.
Refugee and Asylum Applications
Persons with a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion may be eligible to apply for asylum or refugee status in the U.S.
U & T Visas
Persons who have victims of trafficking and/or have assisted in the prosecution of the perpetators may be qualified to apply for one of these visas.
DV-1 Visas (the "Green Card Lottery")
55,000 visas are annually allotted in a random drawing to individuals from nations underrepresented in the total immigrant pool.
III. Citizenship (Naturalization)
Many individuals may qualify for US Citizenship whether through their existing green cards or when and where they were born if one or both of their parents were US Citizens at the time.
IV. Exclusion and/or Removal (Deportation)
1) Guilty but have an excuse
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